I awake, curled on a warm bed of soft moss, dried leaves, and dead grass. Aching joints and stiff muscles, moving is such slow and arduous work. Stiffly, I stand to find myself in a sun drenched swampland, deep in the forest. The warm rays of dawn's first light, breaking through the canopy, feel absolutely wonderful on my face. I look out over the lush forest floor. It is littered with dead bodies and I am immediately filled with an intense feeling of understanding that only comes in dreams.
This land has been ravaged. There are no survivors.
Everywhere I look, there is death. Yet as the light touches us, we
are reanimating. Humans, trolls, giants, everyone. Everyone that lay
dead or dying only moments ago, all waking up. Each one, disappointed
to discover their current state.
I look down, over a small river, full of these massive troll
like creatures. Bodies white and bloated. Their great balding heads,
squashed in. Their long strands of gray hair, dragging out, collecting dead
leaves in the stream. I notice a giant just waking up. He is stuck on the river bank, his body bumping up against a dead log. As he stirs, he looks
solemnly down his long torso, and with an uncertain hand, pulls thin
stringy organs from his slashed belly. I watch quietly as he studies
his pale intestines, and finally releases them with remorseful
acceptance. Silently he turns away from the bank, away from me.
Rolling with the current, flowing peacefully down stream. He rides the
waters into the lake, to meet and make small talk with others who,
like him, can no longer leave the waters. The swamp is alive with the
hushed murmur of its inhabitants.
Needing to move on from this place, I start down the bank. I can see a
place for safe crossing up ahead on the right, where the river narrows. With each
step, my movements grow more fluid. I walk, I stumble, I melt, I roll.
I walk, I stumble, I melt, ...
I know what comes next.